The Hakhu Project
Any agency can dazzle a boardroom for an hour. But how many can cross language and cultural barriers to partner with an indigenous tribe in the Amazon—and actually realize their vision?
Branding in the Amazon.
That was our task for Hakhu, a not-for-profit devoted to empowering indigenous women toward economic independence and away from poverty. And we were there every step of the way—from ground zero to collaboration with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Forging a Path
When it comes to branding, we believe authenticity is the ultimate currency. So how do you build an authentic brand for a high-fashion target market that stays true to the rustic, indigenous roots of the product?
That was the challenge we faced in our 8th Day partnership with Hakhu, founded by the unstoppable Kichwa social entrepreneurs Leo Cerda and Nina Gualinga. Additionally, the brand had to make a bold, consistent statement across the web, catalogs, slide decks, and events—an immersive and compelling experience of indigenous culture.
To define the brand look and logo, we explored the symbolism in the cultural of the tribes from which the jewelry originated. This led us to custom typography that underscores the unique aesthetic of indigenous art.
Overseeing the photography, we pushed for indigenous models to showcase the brand as authentically as possible. Lush greens set a backdrop of biodiversity from which the product materials spring to life, which carried through all brand assets from catalogs to Facebook content. Consistency in all things became our mantra, as we worked to make the brand to pop while simultaneously looking at home in any environment.
Great branding crosses borders, languages, and cultures—conveying simple, timeless truths we recognize as both fresh and familiar. With Hakhu—which means “let’s go” in Kichwa—we’ve strived to both dissolve the divides between us, while still celebrating the uniqueness of our differences.
We’re happy to report that in its first year and a half, Hakhu has trained over 200 women throughout the Amazon, increasing their annual family income by 40%. For many of these women, it is the first time they’ve experienced economic independence in their lives.
Hakhu has trained over 200 women
annual family income raised by 40%
Shellshock not only delivered on expectations, but they also went beyond our needs to look at the bigger picture and help navigate us in the right direction.Leo Cerda,
CEO of Hakhu